Computer & Translation

Technological progress also affects translators and interpreters. In view of the fundamental changes that have taken place in the skills required from translators and interpreters and the relevant demands from industry and professional organisations, the integration of a NLP-component into the degree programmes for translators and interpreters seems to be an absolute necessity.

In 1988 the research project 'Linguistic data processing as a component in the training of translators and interpreters' was established with the task of developing a model for updating the degree programmes for translators and interpreters by incorporating a NLP-component into the existing curriculum. With a view to the work processes in the field of translating and interpreting as well as to the altered job profiles for translators and interpreters, the topics 'Electronic Data Processing / Natural Language Processing', 'Computer-assisted Terminography' and 'Machine-aided and Machine Translation' were defined as key elements of the component. Some statistics may underline the relevance of EDP-knowledge for today's translators and interpreters.

In 1988 the professorship for machine translation of Romance languages was the first one of its kind to be introduced in Germany. It is subsidized from special funds provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science. The University of the Saarland can now compete with Grenoble University and Manchester University where disciplines of this kind was introduced earlier.

After a five-year period the research project 'Linguistic data processing as a component in the training of translators and interpreters' ended on 31 March 1993. As a result of this experimental course the major elements of the curriculum that was worked out over this period were finally incorporated into the degree programmes for translators and interpreters at the University of Saarland. The courses of this component of the curriculum are carried through since the beginning of 1999 in the department's own computer laboratory.

Since 1995 the series "Saarbrücker Studien zu Sprachdatenverarbeitung und Übersetzen" (Saarbrücken Studies on Linguistic Data Processing and Translating) is published, in order to make available for those interested in these fields some selected diploma theses as well as other reports or papers dealing with machine(-aided) translation and related subjects.